Data from 368 occurrences (282 museum vouchers).
- 189 museum vouchers > 30 yrs.
museum vouchers < 30 yrs.
244 unique localities.
Date Quartile Plot:
25 - DOR
9 - AOR
4 - Basking
64 - Active, off-road
1 - Under cover
7 - Dead, off-road
Public Lands Records:
1 - Bourbon State Fishing Lake
1 - Bourbon Wildlife Area
1 - Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area
2 - Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area
2 - Cimarron National Grassland
1 - Fort Leavenworth
1 - Hillsdale Wildlife Area
1 - Jamestown Wildlife Area
1 - Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge
1 - Marais Des Cygnes Wildlife Area
6 - Meade State Park
1 - Meade Wildlife Area
1 - Mined Land Wildlife Area
2 - Scott State Park
1 - Sheridan State Fishing Lake
1 - Tuttle Creek Corps Parks
1 - Wilson Wildlife Area
SNAPPING TURTLE Chelydra serpentina,
Records mapped in Collins (1994) for Cloud, Butler, Geary, and Jackson counties are unknown and therefore not plotted. Records mapped in Collins (1994) for Sumner County (KU 20519) is too imprecise to plot (county only).
Eight specimens are known from Ottawa County (BYU 313, 1239, 1241-6) but only to county.
All types of freshwater habitats, especially those with soft mud bottom and abundant aquatic vegetation or submerged brush and logs. In brackish water in some areas. Mostly a bottom dweller. Hibernates singly or in groups in streams, lakes, ponds, or marshes; in bottom mud, in or under submerged logs or debris, under overhanging bank, or in muskrat tunnel; often in shallow water; sometimes in anoxic sites (Brown and Brooks 1994, Herman et al. 1995). Sometimes basks out of water, especially younger individuals and in far north.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences)
Allen (4), Anderson (18), Atchison (5), Barber (8), Barton (3), Bourbon (8), Brown (2), Butler (1), Chase (2), Chautauqua (2), Cherokee (16), Cheyenne (1), Clark (4), Clay (1), Coffey (4), Comanche (1), Cowley (5), Crawford (5), Dickinson (2), Doniphan (10), Douglas (22), Edwards (1), Elk (4), Ellis (21), Ellsworth (2), Finney (2), Ford (1), Franklin (11), Geary (1), Gove (3), Graham (1), Grant (1), Greenwood (8), Harper (7), Harvey (1), Jackson (1), Jefferson (2), Jewell (1), Johnson (4), Kearney (1), Kingman (1), Kiowa (5), Labette (5), Leavenworth (2), Lincoln (1), Linn (3), Logan (4), Lyon (5), Marion (1), Marshall (8), McPherson (2), Meade (11), Miami (2), Mitchell (1), Montgomery (5), Morris (2), Morton (2), Nemaha (1), Neosho (8), Ness (1), Osage (1), Osborne (1), Ottawa (8), Pawnee (5), Phillips (2), Pottawatomie (2), Pratt (8), Rawlins (3), Reno (2), Republic (2), Rice (4), Riley (5), Rooks (1), Rush (1), Russell (6), Saline (3), Scott (2), Sedgwick (2), Seward (8), Shawnee (4), Sheridan (1), Sherman (3), Stafford (1), Sumner (1), Trego (4), Wabaunsee (2), Wallace (1), Washington (5), Wilson (2), Woodson (2), Wyandotte (2)
Eggs are laid mostly in the second half of May and in June. Clutch size averages 20-35 and sometimes exceeds 100. Hatchlings emerge in 2-4 months (mainly August-September). Females are sexually mature in about 7 years. The mean age of nesting females is estimated at 33-40 years. Total reproductive failure (nest loss) is common. Common Snapping Turtle exhibit temperature dependant sex determination. Those incubated between 71-77 deg F produce predominately males, while cooler or warmer temperatures produce females.
Decreases activity in late summer; relatively inactive in winter, though under-ice movements have been observed; resumes activity usually in April.
Common Snapping turtles is omnivorous, and will consume anything (live or carrion) that will fit in its mouth... this includes algae, duckweed, sedges, insects, crayfish, earthworms, frogs, fish, mice, and other turtles. When young, Common Snappers are active foragers, but as adults they rely more on ambush and carrion.
Growth and Longevity:
Common Snapping Turtles are known to reach 19.5 inches in staight line upper carapace length and weigh 86 pounds. Such exceptional specimens are very rare and the typical adult size of this species in Kansas is 7-13 inches and 2-15 pounds. The largest specimen reported from Kansas was a male (MHP 13387) weighing 45 pounds and measuring 16 inches in carapace length. It was collected by Jay Mattison and Allen Andresen near Haven (Reno County) on 16 October 2006.
The mean longevity for Common Snapping turtles in the wild is about 28 years, and especially long-lived specimens (40+ years) are well documented.
MtDNA exhibits almost no variation within or between populations in the southeastern U.S. (Walker et al. 1998), though there are moderate mtDNA differences between individuals in North America and those in Central and South America (Philips et al. 1996). Phillips et al. (1996) proposed that three evolutionary species be recognized in the Chelydra serpentina group, but Sites and Crandall (1997) disputed their methods and conclusions and emphasized the need for further study using improved methods.
Pleistocene fossils are known from Rice, Ellsworth, Meade, Seward, and Lincoln counties.
Common and widespread in eastern North America; tolerates disturbed habitats; readily colonizes newly created habitats; no significant threats. Usually common where found. Numbers can be very high in some habitats.
1758. Linneaus, Carl. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. 10th Edition, Volume 1, L. Salvius, Stockholm. Pp. iv + 826.
1982. Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas, 2nd Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. Pp. 356.
1993. Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. Pp. 397.
1996. Phillips, C. A., W. W. Dimmick, and J. L. Carr. Conservation genetics of the common snapping turtle (CHELYDRA SERPENTINA). Conservation Biology . 10: pp. 397-405.
1997. Sites, J. W., Jr., and K. A. Crandall. Testing species boundaries in biodiversity studies. Conservation Biology . 11: pp. 1289-1297.
1998. Walker, D., and J. C. Avise. Principles of phylogeography as illustrated by freshwater and terrestrial turtles in the southeastern United States. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics . 29: pp. 23-58.